Claremore Daily Progress

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January 13, 2013

Cooking with Class: NTC students demo first class culinary skills



“We cook for the entire campus,” Van Tuyl said. “The food we cook is sold on campus, the program is production based.”
It is a more hands-on approach when compared to a typical culinary classroom, he added.
Students handle approximately $60,000 in food compared to $10,000 for a theory-based classroom, according to Van Tuyl.
The food is sold and served on campus and that translates to lower food waste and more hands-on experience for students, he added.
During the open house event, Van Tuyl demonstrated this approach to instruction, guiding students through each step.
The team prepared Eggs Poblano, featuring a Hollandaise sauce.
Crowell and Simons took turns preparing each step of the dish, while Van Tuyl offered insightful tips.
“Hollandaise are all about temperature control,” Van Tuyl said. “If you can cook hollandaise you can cook anything.”
Fresh ground pepper has a better flavor, stone counter tops can drop the temperature of your food approximately five degrees every three seconds, Van Tuyl added.
 Van Tuyl inserted a little comic relief putting the students at ease in front of the audience.
“If your not burning yourself your not cooking,” Van Tuyl said. “It is only a burn if it leaves a mark.”
 Van Tuyl encourages students not to be afraid to make a mistake and reminded them of cooking safety.
 “Making a mistake is just as good as getting it right the first time,” Van Tuyl said.
He also explained that part of cooking is training your body to know when it is safe.
For example, when placing food in boiling water or in hot oil, it is better from a close distance versus holding the food high above the pot. 
“Nobody wants to get splashed with hot grease,” Van Tuyl said. “Get close to the liquid with your fingers instead of splashing it everywhere.”

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